Expensive smartphone subscriptions are to be recorded in the national debt register BKR, the government has decided, according to the AD on Friday.
The decision has been taken following a ruling by the High Court in June 2014 that the law on financial supervision should be extended to cover the telecom sector.
The government has now decided to follow the ruling, the AD reports. ‘The approach to debt is an important priority for the cabinet,’ finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told parliament.
Telecom firms KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone will have to check if clients are able to pay for their subscription. In addition, all subscriptions above €250 will be recorded in the BKR.
Family spending body Nibud is pleased with the decision. ‘The Dutch will be made more aware that an expensive mobile subscription is a loan,’ Garbriëlle Bettonville told the AD. ‘They will be better able to see what they are doing with their money.’
The telecom companies are ‘not amused’, calling the move disproportional for the sector and also for millions of Dutch people, the paper says.
According to Vodafone, the consequences for providers will be ‘much greater than Dijsselbloem is suggesting, requiring a number of costly adjustments to the current form of subscription’.
The paper does not say when the new ruling will come into effect.
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